08/03/2019 09:01 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

A French master’s love for Vietnamese martial arts

After twenty years of studying the Vietnamese traditional martial arts, Stephane Lesoil is now the head of Tieu Long (little dragon) martial arts school. He has developed five Tieu Long martial art schools across France with over 400 students.
Stephane Lesoil learned karate and judo when he was a little boy. His interest in the Vietnamese martials arts began after he met Mi, a Vietnamese martial arts master who worked in the same company with Lesoil. Admiring the Vietnamese martial artist’s graceful and effective performances, Lesoil asked Mi to teach him the Vietnamese martial art.

Tieu Long martial art school was established by master Mi in the 1980s to preserve and promote Vietnamese traditional martial arts in France.

After Mi passed away, Lesoil took over from his teacher to develop the Vietnamese martial art. Tieu Long now has more than 400 French and Vietnamese followers who are studying the martial art in schools across France.

Master Lesoil has also come to Vietnam to learn and practice Vietnamese martial arts from masters in Ho Chi Minh City to improve Tieu Long.

    

Master Stephane Lesoil, Head of Tieu Long Martial Arts School. Photo: Son Nghia


Tieu Long, a Vietnamese martial art, is developing widely
in France, attracting followers of different ages. Photo: Files



Tieu Long followers practicing in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Son Nghia


Tieu Long practitioners wear a tunic according to regulations
of the Vietnam Martial Arts Federation. Photo: Son Nghia



Master Stephane Lesoil teaches an arm lock exercise. Photo: Son Nghia


The French master has a strong love for the Vietnamese martial arts. Photo: Son Nghia


Tieu Long practitioners in a counter exercise. Photo: Son Nghia


Tieu Long has weapon-based forms which use swords, knives, staff, fans and spears. Photo: Son Nghia


Tieu Long followers in France. Photo: Files


Tieu Long has about 400 followers who study the Vietnamese martial art in five schools in France. Photo: Files


Practicing the use of fingers. Photo: Son Nghia


Nguyen Mai Trinh is the wife of master Stephane Lesoil.
She is a member of the Ho Chi Minh City Traditional Martial Arts Federation. Photo: Son Nghia



Master Janny, who has studied Tieu Long for 16 years, performs a fan-based action. Photo: Son Nghia

Tieu Long martial arts school teaches students the exercises provided by the Vietnamese Traditional Martial Arts Federation. It also has additional exercises which are adapted to the body type of westerners. While exercises of Vietnamese traditional martial arts give the body flexibility and suppleness, Tieu Long exercises focus on speed and direct fighting techniques.

Tieu Long’s beginning exercises focus on improving physical strength and endurance. It is important for Tieu Long followers to practice the use of hands, fingers and legs in attack and defense, and maintain the body’s balance in fighting.

Tieu Long martial art has effective weapon-based forms, which use a fan, knife or spear.

Tieu Long’s French followers possess both the quality of flexibility and swiftness typical of Vietnamese traditional martial arts with powerful and effective fighting techniques. 

Janny Perigois, a French martial arts practitioner who has studied Tieu Long for 16 years, said “Learning the Vietnamese martial arts helps me not only improve my health and control my actions, but also gives me a better understanding about the Vietnamese culture, making me love this country and its people.”

      

Tieu Long followers actively participate in martial art performances and competitions in France. Photo: Files


Tieu Long Martial Arts School at the 5th International 
Martial Arts Festival in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Son Nghia


Tieu Long practitioners get many high prizes at the 5th International Martial Arts Festival in Ho Chi Minh City.
Photo: Son Nghia


 
Tieu Long practitioners and master Stephane Lesoil  pose for a photo at the 5th International Martial Arts Festival
in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Son Nghia

 

In recent years, master Stephane Lesoil has often taken his students to Vietnam for competitions or performances.
In 2018, members of the Tieu Long martial arts school attended the 5th International Open Martial Arts Festival in Ho Chi Minh City and made high achievements at this event.

 
Story: Son Nghia Photos: Son Nghia & Files